2020 WINTER – Friday Free Classes

Winter Friday classes are FREE. Space is limited.  
Friday classes meet from 10:10-11:50AM
Room W129

NCC Photo ID with current LLI sticker must be worn visibly.


Friday, January 17 – The Library Suite – Free class!

The Library Suite is a coordinated series of musical jazz pieces composed by Mark Edinberg. Mark initiated the idea of composing a jazz work that celebrates libraries and enlisted local artist and library enthusiast Dave Pressler to provide the visual context.  Dave will reprise it with a presentation of his artwork and photography to the recorded music of The Library Suite.


Dave Pressler earned a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a member of the Silvermine Guild Arts Center where he is a former trustee, an officer of the ArtPlace Gallery in Fairfield and is on the Curatorial Committee of the Bruce S. Kershner Gallery at the Fairfield Public Library.  His artwork has been distributed throughout Connecticut and beyond.

                              1 session on Friday, January 17, at 10:10AM


Friday, January 24 – Dante and the Modern World – Free class!

Despite being one of the greatest writers to have ever lived, Dante Alighieri is spoken of with as much reverence and grandeur as Shakespeare, although his works remain less known to the general audience. In a time when the most fundamental roots of our concepts as a modern western culture are being questioned, it is important to understand how our culture was formed by the merging of two different worlds to create our modern worldview. We review and discuss The Inferno to show how Dante’s unique hybridization created the fundamental axioms of the humanist revolution.

Benjamin Steiz, a graduate of Simon’s Rock and Bard College, had a double major in creative writing and philosophy. Interested in history and philosophy from a young age, he is a Dante scholar.



Friday, January 31 – Ukulele for Everyone – Free class!

The ukulele’s popularity is trending because it’s fun to play and it sparks feelings of well-being and happiness. Through a combination of lectures, demonstrations and music making, learn beginner ukulele songs as a group in a supportive, stress-free setting.  There will be opportunities to sing along.


Nina Lesiga facilitates ukulele workshops at Lifetime Learners and at other venues, including UCONN Waterbury, Stratford Continuing Adult Education and the Sterling House Community Center. She has a passion for participatory music in public places where she brings ukuleles with her and gets people to play along for peacemaking and community building.



Friday, February 7 – Gershwin’s Golden Goose – Free class!  Room Change W101

It was the night of Oct. 14, 1930. Ethel Merman, then a 21-year-old newcomer to show biz, introduced to the world one of the greatest showstoppers ever — George and Ira Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm. Driving the crowd wild was also a hot band including Red Nichols, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Glenn Miller, all in their twenties and at the beginning of their careers. Although the original show, Girl Crazy, has been largely forgotten, I Got Rhythm took on a life of its own as a musical golden goose. It inspired Gershwin’s own variations for piano orchestra as well as over 200 other elaborations by the likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Charlie Parker and many others. It was also the basis for The Flintstones theme song and Nat King Cole’s Straighten Up and Fly Right. We explore the many facets of this I Got Rhythm story.

Dr. Joshua Berrett earned a BA from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, an MA from Columbia University, and a PhD from the University of Michigan. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, and the Tanglewood Music Center. He is a Professor Emeritus at Mercy College, a freelance violinist and the author of many publications on music. With his wife, Lynne, he is co-founder of the non-profit Ageless Mind Project, Inc.